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tv   After Words  CSPAN  January 12, 2015 12:00am-1:01am EST

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a lot about white groups fail and how they can succeed. some of you through simple things that you can kind of institute in a minute and others through more complicated things that required require the use of technology. >> ..
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>> >> that groups of jurors often appears much higher awards than the average or middle member. so jury's got more punitive with the individuals and also measured how bad they thought the conduct was on a numerical scale and is the average individual was a five in the jury would be a six sum outrage people got more of rage those who want to punish corporations with a $100,000 reward after they talked they moved up 200,000 or 1 million. that is astounding day end up much more outraged than the individuals.
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that is something to learn about jury behavior. >> this is fascinating. >> what is happening is if you are outraged to hear that the court -- the correlation is terrible the number of arguments they will hear to suggest that it should be lower would be relatively low. so if you are outraged about united states the you think is hardly you or what general motors is on the president's opponents. if the group is inclined to think that that will push is
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that way and i have seen the tapes watching it in realtime. with that information exchange that has a tendency towards outrage and we can talk about groups wherever their initial tendency is can be amplified. especially those that are disturbed. that has to do with the status and reputation. end then added is not that terrible. but those who were not so outraged you can see the
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reseeding passes people they don't want to look weak or they were accusing someone engaged in misconduct. it was that it wanted to preserve their status so as they recede that could be really bad. but in the jury cases whether they should be getting higher horrible or rewards with the abstract is of the group is composed of individuals and a silence themselves because of the reputation than the problem is the group is using in three -- this information but that is about groups
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generally also. does that happen within the family? the information is lost they are afraid the reputation is at risk that is with the other people are contributing. >> with the effect of silencing the makes me think of corrosive -- scientific research when someone leaves a group they actually react to paint from what they call the paid of independence. the sow talk about that in a jury context talked-about the example in the political context with the bay of pigs >> when kennedy gave the go-ahead to invade cuba and he said after words it was a
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very damaging event to concede it was not good. how could i have been so stupid? and the reason was his advisers was like the jury determination so there were advisers after the fact i knew this was a mistake but i did not say anything. either they thought that the unknown dissident views were wrong because they felt isolated. and the other point about the part of the brain that registers fear and anxiety that if you say something in a group of people that is dedicated for purposes of lulled liberation or
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national security you probably think to yourself i will be really bad. and to hear about the power of optimism. that when groups too well is because they had anxious leaders. >> this is what i saw in the white house there is one leader president of united states with those policy offices and if the leader is anxious not terrified of
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life than this since they constantly think what can go wrong what is the way the american people might be adversely affected that is great it is like a seat belt or a safety valve with that virtue level of the anxiety if you have someone who was complacent in they can be winning and charismatic there is a tendency in the corporate world to win engaged in happy talk win talking to the boss you want to put in the boss's shoulder they have enough to worry about. mosque that is a much easier exchange. then how to sort them out to a boss may think solve the
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problem. i have a bunch of my own. so the complaisant person will look more like a team player and often more like the person who has everything under control. the anxious person or leader should not be full of despair but thinking all the time it would redoing to reduce the risk? >> it of so what about the individual movies? >> but to be refined unify well speculate for a leader to have a degree of anxiety
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not in the way that translates to running shoes workplace but the leader who has a sense of well-being is also thinking with that source of reasons but then to think with the environmental programs will this have the adverse effect of small business? so for our leaders to think of the downside is good as long as it does not swallow them up. there is probably some importance to distinguish the ideas saugh of
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development to have optimistic people to say tried this or that. so lets put a lot of things on the table where optimism and deflationary are opposites. and at the time that you are refining into a switch from that optimism that is probably a good idea. four digit year or a creative person it whether an art store politics or science you have to put on hold to say this is going to work but even for multiple key members that is helpful
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i could say from my own experience with a staff of 50 there were all excellent and that wanted everyone to be dealing with regulation i want them to state what could go wrong with what they were helping to oversee i did not want them to think everything is going great if so they were imposing risks on people. >> that run so counter to the american ideal. so it seems clear but if you are the leader you want to get the best but yet you say it is unusual to create a
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climate where that happens. is that because leaders are pessimistic? >> on the anxiety complacencies scale it is important to emphasize yes we can headline is good. so for a religious organization that tries to grow for a nonprofit to think this will work. it is the indispensable foundation at the same time you think what can go wrong? in terms of cedars, if it is a firm of you out -- at the outset that can squelch the creativity and innovation as well as the mixed verdict of
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your group. if you have a leader who with superb but also declares and reveal what it could be bad. one of the most successful presidents with eli kids politics or not is fdr who is vague as to give everyone inside his own government government, even if they had opposing views. some of them were stunned to find as roosevelt had great sympathy thought they were full of nonsense. with their own ideas and to develop them so one way a good leader can overcome the creativity and innovation is
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not the state of you. in government i observed to give people the sense that there were stupider on the right track until they would say they would go another way. so to tell a story about president obama about what to do so to make the right decision with the youngest person in their room to make a comment that did it go to the core of the issue those
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that were for a ring of governor richard. and everybody in the room laughed. then that our was up. but the reason that was terrific for those to bracket but those is really smart. and they have an idea. if it wasn't clear by the way.
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so good seaters still think silence is golden. >> host: so if you are the leader you want to know the person who's speaks earliest hoodie you do that first? >> that does suggest the key importance of leaders thinking of that. in to be justifiably clear. there are too smart things you can do. one is to pick the person in that will anchor the discussion to create what you think that is
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stipulating for good reasons that is proper that -- probably bite and by creating a strong band for the rest of the group to target. as the leader knows that i've thyself of indelible i am directing the person that shares my intolerable belief so a creative alternative is to pick the person that you seek is able and let them talk first. and that second strategy for those who are on the wrong track. that all things considered is not correct it is like
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what roosevelt did tousing goal that agreement. and it does leventhal sequencing. and then it will assign able to people. as different as there were parts of government institutional responsibilities. to be focused first and foremost, on an agricultural growth. department of transportation focused on the trip as rapacious and sector. sometimes there is a government term called equites which does have a familiar sense of fairness
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meaning it will have its environment in the transportation sector like the concept of a stakeholder. and it seemed to me that was not helpful. so supposing everyone gets to talk if the group's leader does the business right so the department of agriculture people think of the interest of the farmers it will emphasize those but let's say that department of energy and the epa even if
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it does it capture the entirety of the public interest with the effects of clean air and clean water with that unique in a whole is that after the discussion in that range that the river gets is very wide. if people have not been identified so what of leader can do that is less formal i know you have the expertise to have this perspective that is the almost immediate goal.
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and the issues about product launch or the engineer or a communications person or someone involved with a scientific issue. that all that information will get out which will be less likely for the group members are not just members of the team's full stop. >> we have almost been given permission in to talk about that specific topic. >> the two things that began in the jury with political issues at the two problems are they silence themselves because their own view must be wrong and then they risk their reputation.
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then both of those are taken away. id you think it is not inappropriate to say lost in the standpoint of science or in engineering here is a point of view. >> host: that makes perfect sense. in addition to that psychological freedom to get out of the house with someone else you can imagine that happening with a jury. so that makes me think of something you wrote about devil's advocate. i would have thought assigning someone the role of devil's advocate would open up the dialogue because you give them the freedom to give the defending point of view but that does not always work? >> i agree the intuition is
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it is pretty good that is with common conversation but the problem is it is an exercise rather than reality. to say here is a group said is debating and you say you will invest in energy or health then say we're not sure then they do it. they are going through the motions of those who have the inclination and it is not a real. so the devil's advocate unlike the defender of the legal system hear it is a group member it does not work that way. so if they do their job best
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if he or she fails. in a group that is inclined to do something unless it is structured very carefully to undermine the whole project. now that structure that undermines a whole project in the end is an achievement. then said devil's advocate a red team that is used to the u.s. military or intelligence community sometimes with law firms it is not appointing somebody that is a part of your group to argues the other way.
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but to have a dedicated group that could be small for peoples whose job it is to show what could go wrong. the line between the devil's advocate that is that paper exercising and the red team but the difference is they're independent people who have a mission it if they succeed to undermine the plan of the groups that is what they're there for. that read tea radio works well. i used it that if we were embarking on something like a regulation coming to make sure the trucks would be safer coming you want to do that because something that is expensive and not
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protected so we ask what is the divide of the strongest argument the other way? that is more led team it would be in the nature of the devil's advocacy. talk about that siegel human parade with that course of action we know where we want to go on vacation what jobbery want to take and we might do the devil's advocacy exercise its in our head but it is not real. or you can read to yourself with the ultimate course of
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action to keep the strongest argument to myself. that's could work. >> host: so the red team it does it mean it is a tv it could be a person. okay. so it sounds similar to this story in the book of changing his course of action based on an exercise? >> yes. sova intel was having problems with the leadership was struggling a lot. one of the top people said what would we do if today was our first day? that is a great question.
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with that product we have been selling running into trouble than we would stop selling that and do something else and that is what they did. so people and managers in positions that infrequently asked so how would i do things differently? the reason that there is great but it is like the idea of rolling segment on steroids you decide yourself to do this now i don't have a history of another commitment. at the university of chicago faculty member a professor
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with a new idea would say we did that or we never did that. and those two responses were exhaustive. [laughter] but i just joined the university said to look at the merits rather than the past. >> host: that is interesting. and why is it if you take an investment club those who know each other very well will not do as well? >> this is very striking and a surprising. there are investment clubs all over the united states. the worst performing investment are those who really know each other, like
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each other socializing and have dinner together with those best part - - best performing ones that don't know each other personally. the reason the mechanism if you know, each other well in dues socialize together then the likelihood he will say that course of action is nonsensical. so they suppress the descent indocin is important for group performance it is related to the people of different personality types. that is parallel to the investment club with that surprising finding that are is not as successful. . .
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>> postcodes interesting though because you could see it going the other way and people that knew each other really well but if you like they have the freedom to defend because their colleagues will still love them. >> guest: that is a great point. but i'm wondering in what you just said is whether there are some investments in the united states or some corporate boards
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in the united states which combine great knowledge of one another and a high degree of personal fondness with an openness to the dissenting views. so, the data that i described of course is aggregate data that you could do is aggregate by looking at the closeness ones where disagreement is allowed because there's trust so it is comparable within the family or certain workplace. they are close and they have a common sense of the mission. but to say that you are full of incense is completely acceptable because it is an socially disruptive. you could say to someone with whom you have a close relationship with you are full of nonsense and that is charming
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rather than the end of matters. >> host: especially if you create a culture everyone cares about the inquiry they are less likely to take it personally when you do that. >> host: >> guest: here are some experiments that are closely associated with what you are describing about whether people will cooperate under circumstances in which it is in their economic interest to cooperate. if you call again of wall street they don't cooperate. if you call that cooperation, they cooperate. so it is a great point that if you have a workplace where the norm is one of expressing your own review if the company is going in the wrong direction i know there are some television programs by the way that is essential and indispensable and
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it's just what you are describing. this is anecdotal of television programs where there is a high degree of trust and it's the way that is sideways to the investment club data where people do know each other and they kind of love each other but they feel completely free to say that's a terrible idea. >> host: so if you were sitting down tomorrow, having lunch tomorrow with the leader of a company or a new product line and the leader tells you okay we have meetings every monday morning that other people feel inhibited and they are not really telling me what they think, what do they do differently? >> guest: one thing is to give clarity of what it means to be a team player is not to be someone who is agreeable. but instead to give a sense that a team player is one who tells
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the group information he needs to know. to have a leader as we discussed a little recessive at the beginning not in the sense of not warm but in the sense of saying i'm not sure and having that be as sincere as possible a third thing to do is to see if you can consistent with the structure of the institution to have the assignment of the roles if they've been given a distinctive task. you can look at the hiring stage of two different kinds of people you want in your operation you
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want people who are smart at the relevant task and general intelligence, not amazingly but there is some work suggesting that there is a different form of teen capacity you might call it that even better than the general intelligence. it doesn't have a name. it's sometimes called factor c. which means the ability to work in groups groups and these are truths that are generally collaborative which are people that have worked on their own and it refers to three things actually. it's the ability to read other people's emotions. this can be tested independently if you see facial expressions that actually is a good predictor of team performance. people that have people participating in one way or
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another that have small minorities to dissipating and you could have -- >> host: and by that you mean how many people that are speaking in the group? >> guest: if you have a group of five it could be understood in different ways and it doesn't mean that they are talking in the meeting. they might be sending an e-mail. they might be communicating their ideas some other way and making sure they get what they know and third is women are a bit better as men at this factor women chart just on average a bit better at contributing to the team performance. now we don't know whether that is because women are just independently better at reading other people's notions which is apparently also true or whether there's something else going on there but those are three things that tend to be helpful. so for the good manager of people that have a certain teen capacity as well as certain
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ability. we need to know is the manager or the executive exactly what is the task so it's good to have collaboration and there are some tasks where that is not so important and people can work on their own at least in the central stages and it enters other separate coordinating functions so that if people are working separately than to have just superb people who are perfectly creative. it is essentially important to let them do their great work to bring them in at the relevant time and it would be incorporated to properly. >> postcodes
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>> host: they want their work to serve the good of the group and can you just tease out of that distinction a little more about what working in the group actually means that it's not only about actually sitting down in a table full of people and contributing at that moment? >> you could have a job for someone whose example is to create something and think that very broadly. it could be attacks. it could be a vegetable product and it could be that they need to do is to bring their commodity products to the group's attention they moment from the group's evaluation and incorporation. they are group members. and let's suppose there are a
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lot of people producing the same and there is a component. for some people they may be producing the cover of a book for example or they may be producing the core of a publicity campaign and they are great at-bat. to have been them working on their own and abandoning it that can be just fine and it might even be ideal. there are other groups that emerge as best as i don't know if we've got exactly it falls in the category that there are tasks where the exchange of ideas either face-to-face or online is most desirable for prompting ingenuity into the jury is not coming yet as if
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maybe there is no unitary answer on which model is better and to have a kind of flexible manager who is good at knowing the personnel on the team and knowing the task and what suits their own capacities. i had one person coming to mind and she was a traffic writer so if there was a memorandum for her to sit down and write a first draft herself caught up with very good her to work on that first draft with other people that wouldn't be helpful it would just slow her down so she did to the first draft and then there would be maybe six people who would do others added their release another aspect and then eventually there would be
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more and more eyes on it. but eventually the text is best done in that way. if you have a group that is trying to figure out what the product is best launched in the next year, it might be to have some sort of information exchange. suing the government what are the sensible policy initiatives for the next six months, it would take a very large brain to get one person who could isolate by a large number of options and list them for the group and probably better to have a significant number of people either face-to-face or online listing things and to aggregate information that way. >> host: if you are talking about the kind of group everyone is sitting together and at the same time i came across a statistic that came out recently from the school in the typical
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grid and i think they might have been talking about groups around eight or so and you have three of the people doing 70% of the talking. yet you were saying before that is actually one of the things that makes them both work very well in the participation so here is the leader of the group you see that happening. what do you suggest? >> guest: what i have observed from the group leaders is that they are alert to that and if they are dominating the group or 70% are dominating the group and you need to get other people talking, just do that. so the president in our history have been very alert to this and have said there's a book to be written on the struggle and the material challenge. they have seen x. and y. are not
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talking. what do they actually think or if they have an expression on her face that suggests disgruntlement there's something to add. so i thought of myself when i had a managerial role even as a teacher there is probably just people that are excellent and who have different ideas and are not talking and just to ask them they have a reason they are not talking and that is a good one and they need to talk to me personally or someone else one-on-one but if it is anywhere people are not talking there is a risk that it is dynamic just to have them.
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>> host: i was just in the corporate meeting yesterday somebody made the point it's hard to interject out of the blue if you call on her she would be happy to tell you what she thinks. she said i don't want to be put on the spot so this allows the leaders job to figure out what does each individual need. >> guest: if the reader doesn't have that knowledge and courteous nice to ask people do you have anything to add giving them permission to say no, that's fine. but also giving them the encouragement to contribute something. >> host: i would love for you
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to explain that. we heard so much about the idea of the wisdom of crowds and you talked about the ways that companies are starting to actually implement that wisdom. can you talk about the? >> guest: what we have been emphasizing so far has been the occasional madness and that is often because people have incentives to contribute nothing into the groups don't get what they need. there are ways of enlisting the crowds that are feasible because of the current technologies. so, what we have seen a great growth in its prediction markets and we have a few of the big enough companies that say instead of photographing the employees of the products and the launch in january who will market where it is on the launch and they can get a t-shirt or maybe get some sort of claims
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that they can use to buy some commodities and the beauty of the prediction market is that if you get the people betting is typically anonymous until there is a winner or loser so that you think the if you think the products are not going to launch ever you can bet that way and you were going to be reworded so to speak on the ones you have been proven right so you will be the naysayer not be the naysayer in the group publicly. >> host: >> guest: yes, you will be. but they will say that person is smart. and what has been amazing about prediction markets, google has used them, best buy, hewlett-packard, many companies have used them. so publicly publicly meaning in the newspapers there is a concession of the markets or elections.
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so the electronic markets were for the presidential elections and the senate. they tend to al to predict the polls because people are putting money on the line and if the market is going in and audit audit to action than then other people will put money on the line and you're aggregating the knowledge of people and that can be a powerful tool. it overcomes the problems we have discussed of someone saying i don't want to speak out because people will see me as a dissenter where they will think less of me or people will say i must be wrong because the group is going going the other way. they might think you know, i am willing to do it if i have an economic reworded coming. and i think i know better than most people. and so, that works.
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they are in increasingly feasible. if someone says we have a better idea they will get an economic reworded. so netflix where if you like star trek and star wars the chances are that you will like the twilight zone. there is a program that was created through netflix that was better than netflix and they went to the crowds and asked people can you beat our program and it turned out to work. so what makes them work really well is that a company can go beyond the small crowd but it has working for it. so many other companies are doing this and they're able to go out and list the expertise and creativity of hundreds or thousands of people who are just
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out there and i expect in the next generation we are going to see a lot more of that partly because the economic reworded will be very high in order to get lots of participants because the public recognition even if you don't have a lot of dollars to get is something the u.s. government does which is a little analogous to the prediction market and the tournament in the sense of the wisdom of the crowd feature. if you're proposing a rule involved in let's say clean-air or emigration typically it will go out. in the sense that the government would have excellent people is to be hoped and often true that
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work hard on figuring out the rule for food safety or reducing pollution of one kind or another but just because they don't know as much as hundreds of thousands or millions or tens of millions of americans do and so that comments will come in saying this one is misdirected and this one is a mistake bubble thing is a blunder into and those comments will sometimes be convincing and that is a way of enlisting information that people have. >> host: it's so interesting because the underlining theme of your book and all these different pieces that you're talking about is all about finding out what do people really think as opposed to what they say or what you have access to them saying so it's happening to a gigantic agreed. >> guest: completely. so, one bit of work we did experiment in colorado and got
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people from boulder colorado, pretty liberal territory we made sure they were liberals by the way to talk about climate change, same-sex relations and affirmative action just in small groups from boulder and we took their own honest views and headed into the prey to a verdict and took their anonymous abuse after they talked and what happened was the diverse views that they had on those three issues became much more extreme and unified as a result of talking to each other so the group ended up being much more cohesive and unified and left standing individuals before they talked and we did the same thing in the same period in colorado springs which is a conservative place and they also became much more cohesive and much more
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confident and much more extreme meaning more conservative than they were before. so the people flipped to the left and afflict the flipped to the right and they both lost information in the sense that within cover springs into boulder there were diverse issues that kind of fell apart the diversity as a result of the discussions among like-minded people and i think that is the clue to a problem that they face a. all of those are ways of reducing the risk of the loss of information. >> post. it's similar to where we were starting starting with more diverse opinions then they end up with and they just get more and more extreme. so you have been able to amass an incredible amount of
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information and techniques into what i consider one of the great problems of the groups and meetings and i'm curious how you did this but i just have to ask you in closing as a fellow writer you kind of effortlessly and my point in my point of view put all this stuff together and you did this at the same time but apparently you are that apparently you were writing three other books in the past year and let me get these numbers because they are so amazing. three books in the last year. you've written 28 books to date in your career plus another 15 that you have co-authored and another 500 scholarly articles all career in government and teaching legal classes. i don't mean to embarrass you i just want to ask you how did you do that? >> guest: most of the books are really short and to some of some of the articles are really short, so in terms of recent years i was in the government for four years and you are working full-time for the
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american people. you're not doing any writing except within the government so i learned a lot and after i left government i have a lot of ideas put up and that apparently resulted in what is probably an exact number of words in the last few years. >> host: so they all came out so you could write your next book on time management. welcome to thank you so much much it has paid pleasure to talk with you and i really recommend people read this book. it is fascinating. >> guest: thanks. i really enjoyed it. >> host: me too. >> that was "after words" which authors of the latest nonfiction books were interviewed by journalists, public policy makers and others familiar with their material. "after words" airs every weekend on booktv at 10 p.m. on saturday, 12 and 9 p.m. on sunday and 12 a.m. on monday and
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you can also watch online. go to and click on "after words" in the booktv series into topics list of the upper right side of the page. now on booktv on to introduce you to the john hopkins professor lester the first of all professor, would you teach at the johns hopkins? >> guest: i teach about politics, racial politics in american politics. >> host: what are those? >> guest: if you think about it the racial politics concerned the competition over the scarce resources between the different racial groups and can include such aspects such as how the different racial groups tend to kind of divine the races and how it works and then how they ended up held definition ends up creating a dynamic where some groups have a lot of resources and some groups have fewer resources.
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>> the black politics when he becomes the competition within the black community is about what the agenda should be about about how we even define what blackness is and then urban attacks is about the competition over scarce resources within a metropolitan environment and between the different dutch republican environment. >> host: is there a black agenda? >> guest: some people like to think that there is and i like to say that instead of a black agenda there are black agenda is. different sections of the communities that have different desires and then then some of the sum of those desires and being articulated in the block agenda and some desires that rarely ever get articulated and if we are talking about 1985 for example it is clear that hiv aids or hiv is killing black
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people disproportionately. and if black men realize this but for a number of reasons it's very difficult for them to get that issue placed on the black agenda so even though they wanted it to be a part of it that's kind of a way to think about how the agendas operate with different groups. >> host: it's 2014. what if anything do you consider to be a black agenda item? >> guest: we are taking this just a few days after the grand jury verdict in the case just a couple of weeks after the grand jury verdict in the michael brown case a think justice is an important issue. actually it's one of those issues where you could get almost groups unanimity among black people that police
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shouldn't have the ability just to kill people willy-nilly and actually get away with it but i think most black people would agree that jaywalking shouldn't be a crime punishable by death. .. >>


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